A thrilling spectacle it was at Ritman University (RU), Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on Saturday 27 July 2019 as the national champions of Nigeria Spelling Bee were crowned amidst cheers of joy.
Even the losing spellers got caught in the wave of excitement as participants savoured that glamour of the moment with gratitude to RU for being a capable host to all 61 spellers representing the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria as well as their coaches and officials.
Odutola Dolapo and Grace Idowu of Montclair College, Ogun State emerged the National Champions in Senior and Junior Categories respectively. Inyene-Abasi Afangide of Ritman College – who was the only student from Akwa Ibom State to make it to the finals – passed the first three rounds of the national final before she was eliminated.
Trophies and medals were also presented to winners of the essay competition as well as runners-up of the spelling bee. A speller who expressed ambition to become a robotics engineer was recognized and given an offer of mentorship by RU Vice Chancellor who is a Fellow of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers and has designed operational paraphernalia for the United States Army. The competitors were accommodated in RU from 24 July. Before the final day, they had interactive session with the VC and were taken on tours of the university and Ikot Ekpene town.
Founder of RU, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, gave a 50 per cent scholarship to the Senior Champion if he chooses Ritman University or a N50,000 prize if the winner wants to go to another university.
Vice Chancellor of RU, Prof Celestine Ntuen, commended the Bee Spelling Competition Initiative for organizing the event and wished the winners well as they represent Nigeria in the African Spelling Bee to hold in Kampala Uganda. He introduced Ritman as a university of choice for its quality of facilities and instruction, as well as being a good ambience for learning, partnership and growth.
Mr Gbenga Omotosho, who represented the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Nigeria Spelling Bee, expressed the organizers’ appreciation to Ritman University for hosting the spellers and treating them to a world-class university experience.
Edidiong Esara 29/07/19